Robservations: new WBEZ content manager wins Sulzberger scholarship
Observations on the media beat:
Tracy Brown, who joined WBEZ 91.5-FM as editor in 2019 and was promoted to content director of the Chicago Public Media news / discussion station in April, was named a member of the Sulzberger 2021 Executive Leadership Program at the ‘Columbia University in New York. Founded by the Sulzberger family in honor of the late New York Times editor Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, The program is designed to train leaders of news organizations and media start-ups to innovate and solve business challenges. After two weeks at Columbia Journalism School, fellows spend the next 18 weeks in their organizations before returning for a final week to Columbia. Brown’s plan will be to accelerate a strategic plan “to grow [a] younger and more diverse audience with new editorial products.
Charmaine Runes, South Side Weekly fact-checking director and former Urban Institute research analyst, joined WBEZ as a data / visual reporter. A graduate of Macalester College, Runes recently completed a master’s program in computational analysis and public policy at the University of Chicago. Still at WBEZ, Jason marc was promoted to senior producer of the series “Curious City”. A graduate of the University of Kansas who joined WBEZ in 2004, Marck will continue to host the Friday night music show “Radio Z”.
Alpha Media, parent company of eight FM radio stations and three AM radio stations in suburban Chicago (and more than 200 stations nationwide), exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a financial restructuring. “Today, Alpha Media enters its next chapter, with an improved financial base, new capital and an improved competitive positioning” Bob Proffitt, president and CEO of the Portland, Oregon-based company said in a statement. “We have more financial resources and flexibility, and we will continue to invest in new digital capabilities to better serve our advertisers and communities in our local markets. “
Good news for fans of Heidi stevens: The former Chicago Tribune columnist who resigned last month after taking a buyout, will be back in the paper soon. Stevens confirmed on Monday that she would write a weekly column for Tribune Content Agency, the syndication unit of Tribune Publishing. “My columns should be in the Sunday Tribune again from August 1,” she wrote on social media. Stevens also announced her hiring as Creative Director of Parent Nation, a parenting initiative started by Dana Suskind, co-founder of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago. “This is exciting and important work, and I am honored to be part of it,” added Stevens.
Aisha Jefferson, part-time digital content producer at WBBM 780-AM / WCFS 105.9-FM, has been promoted to full-time producer on Audacy news combo. A native of Chicago and a graduate of Northern Illinois University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Jefferson joined WBBM Newsradio in 2019 after serving as the editor of Xfinity TV Black Entertainment for Comcast Interactive Media. “Aisha has been with us for a few years and has patiently waited for this well-deserved opportunity. ” Ron Gleason, brand manager for WBBM Newsradio, wrote in an email to staff members.
Longtime Chicago Radio Journalist Roger badesch just released the audiobook version of his acclaimed 2020 memoir, The unplanned life: Roger Badesch’s journey, on Audible. He told publisher Eckhartz Press Rick kampfer he was inspired to write the book by a certain host on Nexstar Media news / talk WGN 720-AM, where Badesch presents the weekend TV news. “Rick kogan was intrigued by my stories on her WGN Radio show and encouraged me, my wife said I had to do this, and I had a lot of retirement time on my hands, ”Badesch said.
It was an unforgettable trip Monday for the Chicago Cubs broadcast team on Audacy sports / talk WSCR 670-AM. There was Pat Hughes, Ron Coomer and Zach Zaidman drive together to St. Louis for the four-game series against the Cardinals. (Major League Baseball will not allow broadcasters to travel on the team’s aircraft until Cubs players and other field staff have reached the 85% immunization threshold. commercial flights are considered risky as they are subject to inclement weather and mechanical delays.) Hughes, Coomer and Zaidman will be back in the wee hours of Friday morning in time for the game of the day here against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Monday’s commentary: Mark Zegan: It’s not hard to believe that a large broadcast group can be so dumb to keep throwing money down a rat hole for audience-seeking programming. More talk, less news. Wasn’t NEWS the supposed alternative to network talk?